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Finally found a good pair of earbuds with mic for the DroidCharge
If you're anything like me, you use your Droid Charge constantly as a portable music player. You may also want to be able to listen to music and switch to talking on the phone and back to music, quickly and easily. Perhaps you want to talk on the phone without having to hold it when your bluetooth headset isn't around, or the battery is dead.
The problem unfortunately, is that for a very long time, the vast majority of phone accessories, were skewed specifically for iPhone and Blackberries. Android has always been like the wild west in terms of getting support for accessories. Until recently, there weren't any earbuds with microphones that were specifically designed to work for Android. Sure, some of them may work (many did not), but it was more coincidence than design.
I was about to give up, I was sick of waiting. I had a pair of Logitech 'Ultimate Ears 500vi' sitting in my online shopping cart for awhile. The problem was this 500vi model was only designed specifically for iPhone and Blackberry, however a few reviewers of the product have said that their 500vi worked on their Android phone. But no one with a Droid Charge had tested it, so it would have been a gamble to buy it.
Nonetheless, tired of waiting, one day I was ready to pull the trigger and buy it. That same day I had went back to the product page and found out that a new version had been released! One designed for ANDROID! Logitech Ultimate Ears 500vm. OK, enough introduction, let's get to it!
Overall these UE 500vm are a pretty decent pair of earbuds. Though the info I'm sure you're most interested in, is if the mic works properly on the Droid Charge, and I am happy to report, that yes indeed it does! But there is something to note in advance. I am running a custom ROM called Tweakstock, I have never tested it on the Verizon/Samsung software, however I can't imagine it not working properly on that ROM. The mic also worked when I was running PBJT kernel as well (but now I'm back to stock kernel and it works on that too), I wanted to note that, just in case. My mom and friend said I sounded fine on the phone over the 500vm microphone.
I am not a supreme audiophile, so the one thing I won't delve much into is the sound quality from the earbuds. This may sound odd, but I don't want to mislead anyone who may be an audiophile, if they buy it because I said they sound like this or sound like that, and they end up hating it, I don't want people upset. So I'll keep it simple, I like the way they sound, which is better than my other cheaper earbuds in the past. If you want a more detailed analysis on their audio quality, there a lot of customer reviews on Amazon to read up on.
There are a few other things to note however that I feel like sharing. First is that the wires for this earbuds are flat, which produces less tangles and are generally more pleasant to use. If you have never used tangle-free or tangle-resistant earbuds, you are missing out! I can never go back to the standard wires, which would constantly tangle with me.
Next, there is an on-wire control piece, but it's a bit lacking. On the 500vi model, there are 3 buttons and a volume slider. For the 500vm model, there is only one button and a volume slider. Why are there 2 less buttons? Ridiculous. Furthermore, the button is a bit laggy, maybe it's the Droid Charge's fault, maybe not. Whatever it is, when someone calls me, and I press the singular button on the wire to answer the call, there's about a 3 second delay before it picks the call up.
Often times the button will not work at all while listening to the music, it won't play or pause like it's supposed to. But sometimes it does work. I believe it is more defendant on which music playback app you're using. I have Power Amp and Rocket Player installed, when I had a Power Amp widget on my home screen, pressing the button on my wire would have Power Amp start scanning my music library. It would also start playing a song from Power Amp while I was already in the process to listening to a song from Rocket Player. Yeah, it's a bit glitchy. Once I removed the widget, it all seemed to work fine again. Pressing the button also turns the screen back on every time.
Now about comfort, I found these to be extremely comfortable earbuds. Last year I bought a pair of J4M earbuds with mic, and it worked on my Droid Charge (other than the button controls), however the 'barrel' behind the soft cushion ear pad was very uncomfortable. They had a semi-sharp edge, which was borderline painful. I like to listen to music while laying in bed, typically on my side, and the J4M were not enjoyable to use at all, but these UE 500vm worked very well, but sometimes needing a bit of an adjustment.
As for the ear cushion pads, the J4M used very cheap, crappy quality rubber pads, I ended up taking off my ear cushions from my $20 pair of Sony earbuds and used them with the J4M instead. With the UE 500vm, their earpads are great and comfortable, and come with an extra pair of 'comply foam tips'. Which feel like those disposable foam earplugs to lower noise around you. They're nice, but initially come across as feeling a bit large, though they should mold to your ear shape quickly.
One more thing about the ear cushions is that they seem to pop out kind of easily, I've had the ear cushion remain inside my ear when my wire got caught on an object and tugged on. This has never happened to me with any other pair of earbuds, from my cheap Sony ones to the J4M. Something to keep in mind I suppose.
These earbuds also come with a 'smartphone adapter', which some smartphones may require to get optimal sound quality. The instructional manual specifically states that Samsung smartphones should use the smartphone adapter. Fortunately the manual is wrong, using the smartphone adapter with the Droid Charger will have a negative effect, audio becomes drowned out and the button on the wire will not respond anymore. Luckily we don't have to bother using the adapter.
Well, looks like I've written too much as it is, so I'll wrap this up by saying, I paid $80 for the the Logitech Ultimate Ears 500vm, and so far I have not come across any other pair of earbuds with microphone designed for Android at the same price range. You may find something more expensive or something cheaper, but in the end, these work with my phone, no more guessing or gambling, and I like the way they sound. Despite a few quirks and flaws, I am enjoying my UE 500vm, and if you're looking for the same thing, you don't have to look any longer!